People in Swindon are being reminded to follow public health advice in order to bring the town’s COVID-19 case rate down.

Swindon Borough Council’s Public Health team is writing to thousands of households following an increase in cases across the Borough in recent weeks.

Last Friday (7 August), the Government described Swindon as “an area of concern” on its national COVID-19 watchlist following a spike in cases in the week up to 2 August involving workers at the XPO Logistics distribution centre in Penzance Drive.

Although that outbreak is now well under control, with no new cases reported for several days, the Council is taking additional steps to contain the disease and prevent a community spread of COVID-19, which may result in local lockdown measures. This comes after just under 50 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Swindon over the weekend.

The current fast-evolving situation is being closely monitoring by the Council working alongside central government. The latest case and contact tracing data shows that a high proportion of new confirmed cases are among residents living in the SN1 and SN2 postcodes.

This week the Council is delivering letters to residents in the SN1 and SN2 areas of the town to remind them of what they need to do to control the virus.

In the letter, the Council’s Director of Public Health, Steve Maddern, has urged people to protect themselves and others by continuing to wash their hands, cover their faces if in enclosed spaces, and to stay at least one-metre apart from people not in their own household.

Mr Maddern also reinforced the need for people to stay at home, even if they have mild symptoms of coronavirus, namely: a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss of, or change to people’s sense of smell or taste.

Crucially, if anyone has any symptoms they must book a test and not leave home for at least 10 days. Those living in households should self-isolate for 14 days if they or any members of the household receive a positive test. Staying at home, means not going out for any reason, including to work, or to the shops.

Steve Maddern, Swindon Borough Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “The events of the last few weeks have shown us quite clearly that COVID-19 has not gone away.

“We are waging an ongoing battle against an enemy we cannot see and, with lockdown restrictions having eased, there is a temptation to think everything is okay. We are a long way from that point. My message to everyone is simple – do not let your guard down.

“If you have even the slightest COVID-19 symptom, stay at home, book a test and make sure you self-isolate for at least 10 days. If you are part of a family, they too have to self-isolate if you fall ill. This is an incredibly difficult time for everyone, but if you don’t act, Swindon won’t be able to control the virus.”